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  Asia-Pacific
Zardari’s Confession: Better Late than Never
By Tanveer Jafri
Contributing Writer
US President Barack Hussain Obama (right) speaks with Pak President Asif Ali Zardari.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari is the first head of Pakistan who has admitted that militants and extremists had been “deliberately created and nurtured” as a policy for “short term tactical objectives.”

The terrorists of today were the heroes of yesteryear until 9/11 occurred and they began to haunt us as well, said Zardari addressing a group of former bureaucrats of Pakistan. According to Zardari, this was a part of strategy of his predecessors. In a similar statement in Germany, former President General Parvez Musharraf too admitted that the mastermind behind the terrorist attack on Indian embassy in Kabul, Sirajuddin Haqqani has links with the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).

There is nothing new in the above confessions by the two heads of the state of Pakistan. The thing that matters is that first time a present head of state has made such confessions which the entire world including India is saying from decades. The analysts of the South Asian politics are in confusion that why Zardari took too much time in admitting this well known truth? And, why he selected this time for such confession? It is the fact that Pakistan is the main ally of America in South Asia in “War on terror.” So important and so old ally that three decades ago it was only Pakistan which helped the US to create the terror network, and now it is taking indefinite amount of money from America to crush the same terror network. During Cold war, America made Pakistan its main pawn against the Soviet Union. Al Qaeda, Taliban, the opium & drugs trade prospering in their supervision, millions of automatic weapons spread from Kashmir to Pakistan, Afghanistan & former Soviet states of South Asia, are all ‘gifts’ provided by America during the Cold war.

Terrorism became a problem for the US only when it became capable of strikes such as 9/11. And Zardari too felt them as ‘snakes’ when these terrorists openly threatened the Pakistani establishment. Prior to 9/11, when former Afghani President Najib was publicly hanged by Mujahideen, when the same Taliban were busy in destroying Afghanistan with weapons and tanks, when the tribal people were busy struggling with themselves for years, till then neither it was termed as terrorism nor the US or Pakistan saw them as the enemies of humanity. When the same terrorism was destabilizing Kashmir and hundreds of thousands of Kashmiri people were compelled to leave Kashmir, then it was not terrorism but “short term tactics”, in the words of President Zardari. But thank god, both America and Pakistan have started seeing them as terrorists, and not as Mujahids or strategic asset.

Promotion of terrorism by America is not new. When and where America wants to create tensions at regional level or disturb peace, it starts supporting encouraging a terror network there. Apart from Pakistan and Afghanistan, Iraq and Israel are also examples. Iran too accuses America of this charge from time to time. Internal rebellions movements of many countries, either relating to the demand of autonomy or independence or separation, usually operate from the US. In these circumstances, how it can be thought that America and Pakistan would eliminate the terror networks easily, which they themselves created & nurtured? However, in the name of fighting terror, Pakistan is receiving money from America, when and how much it wants. On the other side, it is necessary for the US to help Pakistan in eliminating more and more terrorists, to protect itself from another 9/11. India has welcome Zardari’s confession and favoured it as a positive gesture. But after this confession, Zardari seems to be getting trapped himself. Zardari’s main targets were Nawaz Sharif and Parvez Musharraf when he raised fingers on previous regimes. Now this is to be seen whether this statement of Zardari can be digested by Sharif and Musharraf. There is also uncertainty on the reaction of Pakistan Army on this statement. Some analysts are of the view that the Army can take this statement seriously, which would have far reaching impacts. Not only Army, perhaps the ISI too may not tolerate this.

Anyhow, for India and other peace loving nations, Zardari deserves compliment not only for this confession, but also for his commitment to eliminate the blot of terrorism from Pakistan. America and Pakistan understood very late the consequences of the official patronage to terrorism. One understands other’s pain only when he himself passes from that stage. The commitment of Pakistan and America against terrorism is an important step in favour of humanity. But it is also essential to follow complete transparency and honesty in this mission. Not only attacks on the US army, attacks within Pakistan or threats to political elite of Pakistan should not be treated as terrorism, rather the terrorist attack on Mumbai on 26/11 should also be kept in that category. And wherever there are people linked with Mumbai attacks in Pakistan, they should also be treated as other terrorists. Otherwise, as the heroes of yesteryear have become terrorists now, similarly today’s ‘heroes’ involved in 26/11 would become terrorists tomorrow, not messiahs.



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Other Articles by Tanveer Jafri
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Mr.Tanveer Jafri, who serves as contributing writer for The Seoul Times, is a noted columnist in India. He writes on a variety of issues including world peace, anti-terrorism, and national & international politics for numerous news dailies and portals in India. As a devoted social activist he is member of Haryana Sahitya Academy & Haryana Urdu Academy.

 

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